Between the 1930s and the 1950s, at a time when Australian literary authors were neither fashionably read nor collected, Richmond resident John Kinmont Moir (1893–1958) managed to amass one of the finest private libraries of Australian literature ever assembled.
Moir was one of the founders in the 1930s of the Bread and Cheese Club, a group dedicated to the promotion of Australian writers. The club published some 40 books of poetry and actively championed Australian literature in the pages of its monthly magazine, Bohemia.
Moir collected works of literary merit but also books that reflected popular reading of the day. Crime, romance, South Sea adventures, bush yarns, war stories, horse-racing stories and the popular novels of the New South Wales Bookstall series all found a place on his shelves.
Just prior to his death in 1958, Moir donated to the Library his collection of some 12,000 books and pamphlets, 60 boxes of literary manuscripts, and numerous photographs of Australian authors, one of the largest single donations of books ever made in its 150-year history.